Emily Lieber netted her first career goal in Thursday's win. Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2022

Freshman forward Emily Lieber’s first career goal in the 83rd minute gave Cal Poly women’s soccer the 1-0 win over the University of San Diego on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Thursday’s matchup against the Toreros (2-5-2) was the last nonconference game of the year for the Mustangs (3-5, Big West 2-0).

Cal Poly dominated the possession battle for most of the match but was unable to find the back of the net until Lieber’s late goal. The team outshot the Toreros eight to two in the first half and had a few close runs at the goal.

“It comes down to just team chemistry,” Lieber said about the team’s ability to control the ball. “This is such a great group of girls and, I mean, we are a family and genuinely like each other and that shows on the field.”

Early in the second half, the Toreros came alive and went on the offensive. They kept up with the Mustangs in shots, as both teams got four shots off in the second half.

However, the Mustangs responded, making plays in the midfield by taking the ball away and intercepting passes that turned into counterattacks. 

Throughout the game, Lieber was the one making crosses to the middle to set teammates up to score. In the 83rd minute, she took matters into her own hands to score her first goal as a Mustang.

Lieber received a pass from sophomore defender Aynsley Conner as she cut to the outside. Instead of centering the ball, this time around she cut towards the middle of the field to her left and booted the ball in the top left corner of the net with her left foot.

“It feels amazing,” Lieber said. “Coming in as a freshman it’s so cool being a part of a big family. You don’t really expect to get opportunities… but I’m really fortunate to just have my first career goal my freshman year.”

As conference play ramps up, Lieber said the team is focusing on “playing quickly.” 

“One to two touches if we can and catch the team off guard if we can and hopefully score as many goals as possible,” Lieber said.

The Mustangs will take on the University of Hawaii on Sunday, Sept. 25 at noon at Alex G. Spanos Stadium as conference play continues.